Wireless-N (802.11n) Success!

Wireless-N (802.11n) Success!

Summary: Hooray! I now have my new Lifebook S6510 and my new Linksys WRT350N communicating via Wireless-N (802.

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TOPICS: Linux
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Hooray! I now have my new Lifebook S6510 and my new Linksys WRT350N communicating via Wireless-N (802.11n) connection. The information that I got from Fujitsu Support (thank you, Wanda), was correct, although just a little bit short of being complete.

Apparently, in order to get a Wireless-N connection (Wanda said this was for any connection above 54 Mbps) you must be using WPA2 security. But in addition to that, what she didn't specifically tell me was that you apparently also have to use AES encryption, not TKIP. That wasn't too difficult to figure out, since I was convinced that the basic advice she had given me was correct; when I set up the router and laptop for WPA2/TKIP, and it still only connected at 54 Mbps, I just went ahead and tried AES, and it came right up at 130 Mbps.

My other concern was that I still have several other wireless devices which need to connect to this router, and which either can't do WPA2 at all (my Roku SoundBridge Internet Radio), or I would have to download patches or updates (the S2110, and a couple of Dell Dimension PCs). It turned out that this is not a problem, because the router is very flexible in handling connections. There's a minor confusion in terminology between the Vista and the Linksys router; Vista refers to it as WPA2-Personal, and Linksys calls it PSK2-Personal. Anyway, when PSK2-Personal is selected, the router will actually accept either WPA or WPA2 security. Then for encryption the router has either "AES" or "TKIP or AES". The result is that with these settings, the router is accepting a WPA2/AES connection from the S6510, and WPA/TKIP connections from everything else.

One other short note about software/firmware updates. I'm not sure that it was "necessary", but in the process of setting all of this up, I have updated the firmware in the Linksys router (to 2.00.17), the Intel wireless adapter (to 11.5.0.32), and the Marvell Yukon Gigabit Ethernet controller (to 10.28.3.3). Even if some of these might not be absolutely necessary, with something like Wireless-N, which is still pretty fluid, it's best to have the latest that you can get.

In addition to this wireless success, as I mentioned previously, the S6510 is connecting wired ethernet at 1.0 Gbps. With this setup everything is working just fine, and these higher wired and wireless speeds were one of the major reasons that I bought the S6510, so I am quite pleased.

jw 6/1/2008

Topic: Linux

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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3 comments
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  • Wireless-N (802.11n) Success!

    Hi, thanks for the info, It will be handy in my line of work.
    I was wondering what kind of range you've been able to achieve with this laptop/router combination.
    teh_leet
  • Wireless-N (802.11n) Success!

    Hello, I'm glad you found it useful. The short answer is, with the router in the top floor of my house (basically the attic), sitting on the top of a bookshelf, I am able to consistently get a "very good" wireless connection in the living room, two floors below. Don't underestimate this, because Swiss houses are very solidly built, they are not wood-frame homes, they have poured concrete with LOTS of steel reinforcing bars between each floor, and concrete block walls. On the "silly/extreme" side, a friend who lives about 50 meters down the hill from me is able to get a usable signal, as long as he positions himself so that he has line-of-site to my house.

    The long answer is, this is the best combination of router and laptop I have ever had. I started with a Linksys WRT54G router and WPC54G PCMCIA adapter, and I couldn't even get a usable signal in my living room. I added the optional Linksys "high gain" antennas, and it didn't make a significant difference. I then changed to a Linksys WRT54GX4 router (with SRX400 Speed and Range enhancement), and a WPC54GX4 PCMCIA card, and I was able to get "good" or "low" signal strength in the living room. When going to Wireless-N, I didn't even consider the Linksys WRT150N, for example, because I assumed that it could have the same range problems as the WRT54G.

    jw 7/1/2008
    j.a.watson@...
  • Wireless-N (802.11n) Success!

    Addendum - I have now downloaded and installed the Microsoft WPA2 patch for Windows XP Professional, on the Lifebook S2110. I then changed the security to WPA2, left the encryption on TKIP, and it connected to the Linksys WRT350N router with no problem.
    j.a.watson@...